Ruote Rugginose Minerva
By Gareth Charlton - 27 Jun 14
For a motorcycle named after Minerva - the Roman Goddess of War - you may have expected a touch more brute force and anger apparent in the finished form, but it was Minerva's less aggressive tendencies, specifically her patronage of craftsmen, that prompted her name to grace this beautiful little Ducati. Simone Ceccarelli from Viterbo, near Rome, is the man for whom the Goddess played Muse and she surely would be delighted by the level of craftsmanship which he has bestowed upon his creation. "I love old Motorbikes with a racing attitude and a little bit of artistic blood" begins Simone, the one man band behind Ruote Rugginose or Rusty Wheels (not that there is anything rusty about these wheels!). A 1971 Ducati 250 mark 3 procured from a deaf, grumpy, old motorcycle collector provided all the stimulus he needed to let his artstic ideas flow. "The Vision was a racing motorbike (café racer if you want) that recalled classic materials like wood, brass, iron, glass and bronze, belonging to the past." This desire to vary his use of materials manifests itself most strikingly in the fairing, which Simone with help from friend Davide Aresi, fabricated out of wood. No doubt Davide's job at KD Kustom furniture benefitted in this extraordinary process. At first glance you would never realise this bold choice of material such is the execution of the finished product, yet it adds a warmth, beauty and unique talking point to the little machine, channelling the Italian artisan cabinet makers of yore. When Simone was finished with the planes and wood saws he turned to more traditional motorcycle tooling to cut and clean the frame before creating the long curvaceous tank and classically profiled tail piece out of fibreglass. The seat unit conceals the minimal electrics and was finely upholstered by Alessandro Starace Seats. The exquisite 250 single was then restored and tuned before slotting back into the black frame married to a wrapped exhaust. The Beretta wheels were donated from another vintage Ducati and are pulled up short by Racing Grimeca drum brakes. The handlebars came courtesy of Menani, and are fitted with the original Domino throttle, Menani also provided the rearsets. The forks have been slid through the yokes to maintain the long, low sloping lines of a racer, pushing the single Smith's RPM guage high into the fairing. To light the way a headlight from an unknown origin has been secured low to the left front fork, allowing that masterfully smooth fairing to be free from interruption. The paint has a base of gold leaf with a candy red overcoat and was applied by Greaser Garage in Genova, the colour ties in beautifully with the deep lustre of the wood, the combination of matte and deep shine finishes satisfying the initial ambition to recall and combine classic materials. Simone entered the bike into the IMC Italian Motorcycle Championship and was delighted with both the response and his third place in what must have been a very stiff competition. The Goddess must no doubt be proud to have her monicker emblazoned upon the product of Simone's year of hard work that embodies traditional Italian craftsmanship in a two wheeled form. Glorious stuff Simone, and fittingly beautiful Italian picture locations, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Ruote Rugginose!